Weekend blog posts seem to be getting more and more rare around here, and with a new baby to arrive in the future I think they might be ever more rare. Still, I wanted to squeeze this one in. While I was compiling links for the next QueerlyKos round-up, I came across a couple of calls to action that I didn’t want to let sit until Friday or Saturday if there’s anything I can do to help spread the word now.
National Action Alert: MCDONALDS MANAGER ASSAULTS TRANSGENDER WOMAN OF COLOR WITH LEAD PIPE; NYPD REFUSES TO ACCEPT HER COMPLAINT /Call Inspector McCarthy and Officer Bonner at NYPD Midtown South PCT to Demand anti-trans violence complaint is filed Tel. (212) 239-9811
On July 10th, 2006 at 10pm, Christina Sforza, a transgender woman ate with her friends at the McDonald’s at 341 5th Ave. After eating, she tried to use the bathroom. The men’s bathroom was out of order and all evening men and women were using the women’s bathroom. She asked the person behind the counter which bathroom she should use and was told to use the women’s bathroom. The victim is diabetic and entered the bathroom to give herself an insulin injection. While she was in the bathroom, she heard someone banging on the door yelling that they were going to “kill her.” She waited a moment and then opened the door. An employee in a blue McDonald’s shirt began beating her with a lead pipe and telling her he was going to “kill her.” He used anti-gay and homophobic language. He hit her on her arms and in the groin area with the pipe while the rest of the McDonald’s staff cheered and chanted, “kill the faggot.”
The victim’s friend called the police. When they arrived they refused to let her speak and arrested her for assault. During this time, the victim discovered that the man with the pipe was a manager. They left her bag at McDonald’s and it contained all her medication, which she must take four times a day.
It gets worse.
After the victim was released from jail, she attempted to file a complaint against the Manager at McDonalds on six separate occasions; July 18th, July 21st, July 23rd, July 26th, August 3rd, and August 7th. On each of these occasions, her request was denied and she encountered harassment, extremely long wait periods, and was threatened with arrest for “filing a false report.”
The determined victim went to the precinct alone, with legal advocates, and with friends. Each time her request was denied. In addition, her attorney, Pooja Gehi, of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project has demanded that the arresting officer allow her to file a complaint. She supplied photographic evidence of the victim’s injuries as well as eyewitness testimony from people who were at the incident. This too, was denied.
The officer informed Ms. Gehi that the “case was closed.” The Victim filed a Complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) about the police. But this is unlikely to help her in any way. Ms. Gehi states, “This incident was illegal on multiple levels; my client was assaulted, discriminated against, denied her medication, falsely arrested, and denied her basic right to file a complaint against her assailant.”
Now, the victim of a brutal, public assault faces criminal consequences because of a false arrest and a transphobic perpetrator.
TransJustice, the Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color political group, is demanding that the NYPD, allow her to file a compliant and to stop their historic discrimination as well as brutality against Transgender people. The group is calling for police accountability in regards to the treatment of NYC Trans and Gender Non-Conforming communities. TransJustice is calling on elected officials, community leaders and social justice activists to support this effort.
TransJustice Needs You To:
1)Inundate Officer Bonner and his superior officer Inspector McCarty at the NYPD Midtown South Precinct with phone calls demanding that Christina Sforza be allowed to file a criminal complaint against her attacker.
Call (212) 239-9811 COMMUNITY AFFAIRS (212) 239-9846 or Write 357 West 35th Street New York, New York 10001
2) If you live in NYC or NJ: please attend Action Alert Meeting on Wednesday, October 11th. 6:30 pm Allies Welcomed. This meeting will be held at Housing Works, 320 West 13th Street on the 4th Floor.
3) If you live in NYC or NJ: PACK the Court for Christina, October 26th, starting at 9am. 100 Centre Street -Part C (between Chambers and Canal Streets) Take 4,5,6 Trains to Chambers Streets or Q, N, R, W Canal)
To find out ways you can support this case and other cases of NYPD discrimination/ brutality against Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color, please call The Audre Lorde Project (718) 596-0342 ext. 18
There’s a blurb in the Gay City News as well.
Meanwhile, Tennessee Guerilla Women is calling for for people to join in protesting a Focus on the Family Rally in Nashville on Oct. 16th, just three weeks before the the vote on Tennessee’s anti-gay marriage amendment.
It’s almost time for James Dobson to make an appearance in Nashville and help us get in the mood for a freaky Halloween.
The Focus on the Patriarchal Family guy will be in Nashville on October 16. Dobson will be the star speaker at his little anti gay rally over at Two Rivers Baptist Church.
That will be just three weeks before Tennesseans go to the polls to vote on the Hate Amendment.
Heterosexist Dobson hopes to work his GOP base into a voting frenzy, but he does have his work cut out for him. After all, now the world knows that the Republican Party is the party of gays!
Why should the religious homophobes bother to get out of bed on election day when their vote is destined to help out a closeted gay?
RSVP at MySpace for the Stand for All Families protest.
For more info, email Jaime or Philip.
Or, you can join the folks at the Tennessee Equality Project for a Stand for All Families picnic at Glendale Baptist Church, 1021 Glendale Lane, Nashville, TN 37204, on the evening of the 16th, at 6pm.